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A project of the Chicago Botanic Garden


For Educators

Mother Nature has a lot to teach us

Bring real-world science into your classroom. Educators can use Budburst as a tool to illustrate the phenological process and teach data analysis, as well as an avenue to introduce students to climate change.

Benefits of using Budburst with Students:

NGSS-aligned curriculum with outdoor learning opportunities

Show students that science is for everyone

Improve science literacy using real-world data

Engage in place-based climate change education

Related curricula for educators

Our team has developed curricula aligned with national education standards to facilitate the incorporation of Budburst projects into your classroom.

  1. Curricula for PreK–Grade 2

    Children are natural explorers. If you are looking for ways to channel your students’ endless curiosity into simple investigations about their environment, Budburst can help.

  2. Curricula for Grades 3–5

    Harness the natural curiosity of your students as they develop a deeper understanding of scientific inquiry, plant life cycles, and more.

  3. Curricula for Grades 6-8

    Budburst can help deepen your students’ understanding of plants and ecosystems or provide a regionally-relevant introduction to climate change. It can also serve as a springboard for students beginning to plan and conduct their own scientific investigations.

  4. Curricula for Grades 9–12

    Give students opportunities for outdoor learning while delving into topics such as the influence of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystem functioning. Use Budburst to help engage students in independent research projects.


    Budburst research addresses current, challenging scientific issues like climate change. Working with real data, students have the opportunity to experience the process and nature of science directly while becoming part of a larger community of practice.

Enter the Plant Trackers Contest!*

We've teamed up with Scholastic to engage Grade 3-6 students in our Phenology and Climate project this spring semester! Your students can learn about phenology, observe plant life cycles, and enter the Plant Trackers contest for a chance to win the grand prize ($1000 each for the winning student and their teacher!). Visit the Grade 3-5 and 6-8 curriculum pages for supporting information and resources. All contest information and materials are available in Spanish here.

If you'd like to have your students contribute data to Budburst as (optional) extension of the contest, be sure to set up a Group for your classroom, and review our Getting Started page for more information on our data submission protocols.

  * NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. For complete details view Official Rules.

How to use Budburst in your classroom

Budburst has resources to help you integrate your observations into a variety of educational settings. For example, the Budburst Groups feature allows you to consolidate class data and protect student privacy with anonymous student accounts. Our Citizen Science Academy courses use Budburst and similar programs as case studies for learning about community/citizen science as a field, how to use these programs effectively in a variety of educational settings, and how to create compelling activities and opportunities to engage with the natural world.

Do your part for our planet. Join Budburst today.

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Budburst is a project of the
Chicago Botanic Garden

One of the treasures of the
Forest Preserves of Cook County

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